9781400030347 / 140003034X

A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies





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About the book:

In A Pretext for War James Bamford builds his case against America's intelligence agencies from the ground up, which makes for devastating reading not only for his subjects, but for anyone concerned with the nation's security or simply smart use of taxpayer dollars. Indeed, one can't help but cringe as the veteran journalist records the alarming post-Cold-War floundering of the CIA, NSA, Defense Department and succeeding administrations in the face of burgeoning terrorist threats that culminate with the attack on 9-11. Seemingly caught flatfooted by the demise of the Soviet Union, the US intelligence community stumbles through the 1990s as it becomes institutionally hidebound and sluggish. During relatively peaceful times, its shortcomings, while not unnoticed, remain largely unaddressed.

As Bamford sees it, with the arrival of George W Bush the situation goes from bad to worse. With the neocons in power, intelligence gathering is corrupted and politicised to create the grounds for going to war with Iraq. While much of what appears here has appeared earlier in works by Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke and others, Bamford pulls the loose ends together and adds new reporting to create a wide-ranging yet taut and absorbing exposť of an American security apparatus that combines vast power with stunning ineptitude. --Steven Stolder,

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